Romantic comedies generally go one of two ways; they are either witty and charming like “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” from 2003, or trash akin to 2009’s “It’s Complicated.” Somehow, despite combining the overly uncouth Adam Sandler and the sweet and snarky Jennifer Aniston, “Just Go With It” manages to land itself closer to the former.
Accomplished plastic surgeon Danny (Sandler, “Grown Ups”) meets the young and beautiful Palmer (Brooklyn Decker, “Ugly Betty”) and lies about his marital status when she finds his fake wedding ring. To maintain the lie that he is separated from his wife and soon-to-be divorced, he convinces his assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston, “The Switch”) to play the role of his future ex-wife. After lying to Palmer about having children, Katherine’s own two kids get roped into the snowballing act, and eventually a fake new boyfriend is recruited for Katherine as well. Danny ends up taking the entire circus on a trip to Hawaii, where Danny inevitably has to choose between the supermodel-esque Palmer and familiar and fun Katherine.
The story for “Just Go With It” is quintessential for the concept of the snowball effect; it begins with a single lie, and then evolves into a myriad of other lies in an attempt to help maintain the first. The plot ends up going back and forth between farce and romantic comedy, but remains grounded enough to keep the audience’s attention.
Aniston and Sandler have surprisingly convincing chemistry on screen, and even at the movie’s most unrealistic moments shines through as genuine. Aniston is sweet, humorous, witty and a little snarky as Katherine, and while this isn’t anything new from the actress, it fits her character.
Sandler’s interpretation of Danny is relatively refined in comparison to many of his past characters, and it’s a refreshing addition to the movie. While it’s nearly indisputable that Sandler has a distinctly profane character “type” he portrays in most of his movies, he adds a certain sentimentality in “Just Go With It” that is more reminiscent of his style in “Click,” “50 First Dates” and “Mr. Deeds.” He’s still profane and mentally disturbing in a few scenes, but it wouldn’t be an Adam Sandler character if he wasn’t.
“Just Go With It” is a remake of the 1969 film “Cactus Flower,” which starred Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman and Goldie Hawn. As far as quality movies go, “Just Go With It” may utilize more of a modern, slapstick humor, but “Cactus Flower” is funny in a sort of natural and timeless way that can be appreciated in any decade.
“Just Go With It” isn’t extraordinary, but it isn’t bad either. See it with your significant other for a decent laugh. If they don’t want to see an Adam Sandler flick, remember: you can always tell them it’s a romantic comedy.